By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
Two boaters were plucked from from the ocean near Smith River Tuesday when their boat capsized in choppy waters.
The unidentified boaters, reportedly sport fishermen from the Rogue River area of Oregon, were retrieved by the Chetco River Coast Guard and transported to Sutter Coast Hospital, according to Chief Dan Bennett.
"There's a lot of wind and choppy water here in the afternoon, and they got caught in it," Bennett said. "Once they got out there at sea, their boat capsized."
Bennett said the initial call of a boat in distress was received at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The boaters used a cell phone to reach the Coast Guard, but the line went dead after their location was determined to be near the California-Oregon border.
Two rescue vessels were launched: a 47-foot motorboat and a 23-foot utility boat.
"We headed south down to the border area and looked around, but we didn't see anything," Bennett said. "They started heading back to the station when we received a 911 call that the boat had capsized and two men were in the water."
The rescue vessels returned and retrieved the men. One man was treated and released Tuesday for hypothermia. A second man was kept overnight for observation, Bennett said.
The boaters' 20-foot Bayliner later washed ashore in the Gilbert Creek area north of Smith River.
"They really shouldn't have been out yesterday. It was too windy," said Roger Huntington, who viewed the boat on the beach yesterday.